Wort des Jahres 2013 - GroKo

Every year since 1977, the "Gesellschaft for German language" (GfdS) has picked the German word (and also the "Unwort") of the year.

This year's winner is GroKo. - short for "Große Koalition" = big coalition.

If you check out the list of winners for all previous years, for instance on, you can learn quite a bit about German contemporary history.

December 17, 2013


I always wonder what this "Wort des Jahres" is supposed to mean for us. Is it a great word you should strife to adopt into your vocabulary? Or just the one that annoys you the most before the year has ended because the media can't stop using it?

December 18, 2013

Most certainly the latter. Usually they are worse than the "Unwort des Jahres". Strange that they didn't choose the "GroKoDil", though :)

December 18, 2013

Yeah, I never found much difference in quality between the "Wort den Jahres" and the "Unwort des Jahres"...

December 18, 2013

Who else remembers "sozialverträgliches Frühableben"? <3 socially convenient prompt-demise... or something like that xD ...Die before you are old enough to get money back from health and social care <3 Some politicians are rude >.>

December 20, 2013

Yes, at times their quality seems interchangeable, but overall, I believe that the "Wörter des Jahres" are words that you are to absorb into your vocabulary, that show how German language has developed in a given year due to historical moments such as "Bundeskanzlerin" in 2005, or "Multimedia" in 1995 and "Ellenbogengesellschaft" in 1982. They are "bringing the thing on the point" (die Sache auf den Punkt bringen ), i.e. they are nailing it.

However, overall, the "Unwörter" reflect bad turns in German language and history. Things that may not political correct and linguistically elegant. Take "Rentnerschwemme" in 1996, "Humankapital" in 2004 and "freiwillige Ausreise" in 2006. This is a language that we would like to avoid, because they are euphemisms and can be discriminatory.

December 23, 2013
December 22, 2013

"GroKo" is nice but it's a bit too similar to "grok".

The publisher Langenscheidt chose "Babo" to be the Jugendwort of 2013.

December 17, 2013
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